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Supportability refers to the inherent characteristics of the system and the enabling system elements that allow effective and efficient sustainment (including maintenance and other support functions) throughout the system’s life cycle. By addressing supportability as part of the system design, the PM, through the Systems Engineer and Product Support Manager (PSM), ensures the system reaches Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the required enabling system elements in place. The benefits to the program are: 

  • Cost savings 
  • Fielding of a more affordable logistics infrastructure 
  • Improved Materiel and Operational Availability 
  • Reduced footprint 

Supportability analysis is an iterative activity conducted during the system’s development and is used by the PM and PSM to define the system’s support strategy. It includes sustainment-related should-cost management and risk and opportunity management efforts across the life cycle. Supportability analysis begins in stakeholder requirements definition, as part of the Analysis of Alternatives, and continues through the design, T&E, production, and deployment activities and phases of the system. The supportability analysis and the resultant product support package mature in parallel with the evolution of the design, and should be documented in an integrated data or decision environment, preferably a digital ecosystem. For more information on Supportability as a design consideration, see the Systems Engineering Guidebook, Section 5.21.